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© John Holstein
In the photo above you can see a few steps in the process of making lacquerware in Bagan, beginning in the upper right corner and moving counter-clockwise (with each item being one step). The lacquer used by this producer of high-quality lacquerware comes from the lacquer tree; it is the natural lacquer that Korean craftsman used in Chosun Korea on their lacquerware and on furniture. Scroll down to see photos of the rest of the process that is used in Bagan. (The photos were taken at the Golden Cuckoo store, in Myingaba Village.)
Forming the object to be lacquered. Note that they didn't cut down the tree when they built this house.
(Photo by Kaliher.)

Applying the lacquer. Several coats are applied.

Preparing the pigment from natural materials (herbs, trees, flowers, stone).
Carving the design. The object is dipped a separate time for each color.
(Photo by Kaliher.)
Smoothing and shining to make a finished product. (The man himself is not so small; the size of the photo has to do with problems related to resolution. Now if a certain someone would buy a decent digital camera...) (Photo by Kaliher.)